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New scheme to provide extra beds for Surrey patients this winter
1:42pm Friday 18th October 2013 in Local News
Patients in East Surrey might find they are being cared for in a bed closer to home this winter, thanks to a new service being offered by local NHS groups.
NHS doctors and managers from health service commissioners and providers have worked together to fund 27 extra beds in nursing homes and community hospitals across the county.
The extra beds are for patients who are well enough to leave hospital, but who still need some on-going support and rehabilitation. East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, First Community Health Care and CSH Surrey have worked together to create the service for Surrey residents.
Michael Wilson, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, said: “Every winter we have more patients in the hospital than we have beds.”
Mr Wilson said: “Many of these patients, however, are classed as medically fit by our doctors, but they can’t be discharged because they need an element of support.
“By creating these additional beds in the community, we can confidently discharge patients to the care of the community health providers, and free-up the hospital beds for new patients being admitted.”
Mr Wilson added: “We are working with our partners and investing in these new beds because we know that when patients are treated in the most appropriate health setting for their needs, they have the best experience.”
Dr Joe McGilligan, chairman of East Surrey CCG said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to work collaboratively across the whole local healthcare system to ensure that there are additional beds available in the community – especially over the coming winter period.” Dr McGilligan said: “This collaboration means that patients will, where clinically appropriate, be able to move from the hospital to a more local setting for care, prior to their return to their normal place of residence. “This will help ensure that the beds in the acute hospital are kept available for those patients requiring more intensive treatment.” He said: “This is great news for local residents, and I am confident that this winter, East Surrey patients will benefit from improved experiences and outcomes.”
So far, 11 of the new beds are open in Surrey, and all 27 will be open by the New Year.
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is also pioneering a similar scheme with its partners in Sussex, and in all, 60 additional community beds will be available for patients ready to leave East Surrey Hospital.
Patients well enough to be discharged from hospital, are assessed by the Integrated Discharge Team, which is made up of staff from the hospital and the community.
They make a joint decision about the on-going care for that patient.
For more information visit: www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk